Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State Wednesday charged residents of the state on the need to moderate their food consumption and cultivate the habit of food preservation.
Speaking Wednesday at the World Environment Day held at the Adetiloye Hall in Ado- Ekiti, the governor said the state government was poised to turn waste to wealth through the engineering management of dump sites in the state.
While speaking on the theme of the programme, ‘Think, Eat and Save’, Fayemi said food production could only thrive in a situation where there was preservation of such to avoid unnecessary waste predominant in the society today.
The governor pointed out that the state had begun the production of organic manure for farmers and other industrial use under the Waste to Wealth programme of the state government.
Fayemi added that nylon recycling plant was already in operation for massive production on commercial basis, assuring the people that there would be provision of more modern equipment for this purpose in order to make it more functional and create more employment opportunities for the people.
“The United Nations recently confirmed that over 1.3 billion tonnes of food get wasted yearly due to lack of preservation and this has to stop. Due to the inherent wastages, ratios one to one in every seven people are said to be hungry and have nothing to eat despite the huge production while an alarming number of infants die daily due to hunger. This is unfortunate,” he said.
Fayemi added that in line with the move to ensure food preservation, the state government had linked up with the federal government in constructing a standard silo on Ijan road while the state government had also made provision for cold rooms in some designated local governments to bring about the expected maintenance culture.
The governor urged the people to imbibe the habit of farming either as commercial or subsistence farmers and assured them that government was ready to assist individuals and groups to become “great farmers.”
He also charged the people on sustaining the forest; saying that it was a major commonwealth of the state that must be preserved.
In her remarks, the state Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Eniola Ajayi, said the governor was determined to ensure a sustainable green environment through various programmes to tackle environmental challenges. She was these were reflected in the recently concluded advocacy meetings on Operation Klean Ekiti (OKE).
Ajayi, who added that a major outcome of the advocacy meeting was the decision of market women to partner government to institute a weekly environmental sanitation day, said this year’s World Environment Day was a call on people to avoid food wastage, save money and impact on food production processes in the state.
Also speaking at the event, the guest speaker who is a renowned Environmentalist, Dr. Nnimmo Bassey, identified land grabbing and poor rural infrastructure among others as factors responsible for food loss in Nigeria; adding that secured land tenure was important for food security.
Bassey asserted that strong rural economies would build environmental sustainability and reduce poverty; stressing that it was not right for Africa to be portrayed as a hungry continent because the hunger is politically-motivated.